Grammar Patterns

V n to n

Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object

Active voice: V n to n
 Verb groupnoun grouptonoun group
SubjectVerbObjectprepositional Object
Weexplainedthe situationtohim.
Building societieslendmoneytohousebuyers.
Sherentedroomstouniversity students.
Ishowedthe sketchestomy producer.
Passive voice: be V-ed to n
 Verb grouptonoun group
SubjectVerbprepositional Object
The wall paintingshave been attributedtoa 16th century Sicilian painter.
Personal detailswere being forwardedtothe authorities.
Pensionsare to be indexedtoinflation.
The carmust be restoredtoits rightful owner.

Phrasal Verbs

Active voice: V n P to n, V P n (not pron) to n
 Verb groupnoun groupParticletonoun group
SubjectVerb...Object...Verbprepositional Object
Hemarriedhis daughterofftoa peasant farmer.
Ihave passedmy informationontothe police.
 Verb groupParticlenoun grouptonoun group
SubjectVerbObjectprepositional Object
Hemadeouta chequetohis wife.
Pregnant womenmay passonthe diseasetotheir unborn children.
Passive voice: be V-ed P to n
 Verb groupParticletonoun group
SubjectVerbprepositional Object
The evidencewas handedovertothe German authorities.
Mops and broomswere loanedouttothe staff.
Verbs with this structure belong to the following meaning groups:

I.1 The 'give' group

These verbs are concerned with giving or transferring something to someone. This includes:
    giving e.g. award, feed, grant
    bequeathing e.g. leave, will
    lending e.g. lend, loan
    transferring something e.g. hand, pass
    transferring responsibility for something e.g. delegate, subcontract
    allocating or committing money or resources e.g. allot, assign
    conceding e.g. cede, yield
    introducing ideas or systems e.g. export, introduce
    marrying someone to someone
    dedicating something such as a book or a building to someone
The seats are allotted to candidates who have won the most votes according to their parties' percentages.
With fewer than twenty agents on the case he couldn't assign this distasteful task to a junior agent.
Just before Charles died in November 1700 the court persuaded him to bequeath his whole empire intact to Louis's grandson, Philip of Anjou.
The goalkeeper was a target for criticism after Liverpool conceded three first half goals to the champions.
He took the money home at the end of the week and gave it to his mother to keep shoes on his feet and chickens in the pot.
He pledged to introduce real democracy to the country.
I became a dancer. Otherwise I would have been married off to a rich industrialist.
The commander in chief said he expected his forces to surrender their arms to United Nations peace-keeping forces early next week.
Most scientists here believe that it is at least theoretically possible for the disease to be transmitted to humans.
The preposition to is sometimes followed by an '-ing' clause when the verb involves committing money or resources to a particular cause or activity.
The radio station's embattled president had committed all available resources to fixing his disastrous prime time schedule.
In the case of arrogate, the noun group following the preposition is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V n to pron-refl.
Such non-Catholic religious persons were thereby invisibly tied to the official church, which arrogated jurisdiction over them to itself.
  • accord
  • administer
  • allocate
  • allot (usu passive)
  • arrogate
  • assign
  • award
  • bequeath
  • bring
  • cede
  • commit
  • concede
  • contribute
  • dedicate
  • delegate
  • deliver
  • devolve
  • dispense
  • distribute
  • donate
  • entrust
  • export
  • extend
  • feed
  • give
  • grant
  • hand
  • introduce
  • leave
  • lend
  • license
  • loan
  • marry
  • pass
  • pay
  • present
  • reallocate
  • remit
  • render
  • restore (usu passive)
  • sacrifice
  • sell
  • serve
  • slip
  • subcontract
  • submit
  • supply
  • surrender
  • transfer
  • transmit
  • vouchsafe
  • will
  • yield
  • contract out
  • deal out
  • farm out
  • give back
  • hand back
  • hand on
  • hand over
  • loan out
  • make over
  • marry off
  • pass on
  • pay out
  • turn over
  • I.2 The 'promise' group

    These verbs are concerned with offering or promising something to someone.
    We also propose to offer some additional support to those who are registered blind so they can benefit from the many audio facilities provided by digital technology.
    The company's management will promise higher returns to stockholders.
  • offer
  • pledge
  • proffer
  • promise
  • I.3 The 'communicate' group

    These verbs are concerned with communicating something to someone verbally or in writing. The noun group may indicate the communication, e.g. address remarks, write an email, or the content of the communication, e.g. break the news, communicate our ideas. It may also indicate the people involved, e.g. introduce someone, unburden yourself. The prepositional phrase indicates the person who you speak or write to.
    We include here nod, which indicates non-verbal communication.
    She turned and addressed her next remarks to Mary Ann.
    On 4th December 1700, Philippe, grandson of Louis XIV, bade farewell to the King and his court at the Chateau of Sceaux.
    Police were last night breaking the news of the tragedy to Faye's parents, who were away on holiday.
    So I was really upset and dashed off a text to her saying just that.
    Words are the tools, the transmitters, by which we communicate our ideas to one another.
    The contents of any interview with a foreign journalist are divulged immediately to journalists covering the same story all over the world.
    It's not uncommon for attorneys and other professionals to act as intermediaries and introduce clients to each other.
    If you feel that your home circumstances necessitate a period of convalescence, mention this to the Ward Sister.
    Usually, psychologists and psychiatrists agree on a diagnosis and present their findings to the presiding judge.
    Less than three weeks before he died, Chekhov wrote a letter to his mother in which he told her his health was on the mend.
    In the case of address and unburden, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl to n.
    Children soon discover that it is much safer to unburden yourself to a member of the family than just a friend.
  • address
  • admit
  • announce
  • bid
  • break
  • commend
  • communicate
  • confess
  • confide
  • describe
  • dictate
  • disclose
  • divulge
  • explain
  • express
  • give
  • impart
  • intimate
  • introduce
  • leak
  • mention
  • murmur
  • nod
  • offer
  • pass
  • pen
  • pencil
  • present
  • propose
  • put
  • read
  • recommend
  • relate
  • relay (usu passive)
  • remember
  • repeat
  • report
  • reveal
  • say
  • suggest
  • teach
  • tell
  • unburden
  • write
  • call out
  • dash off
  • make out
  • pass on
  • report back
  • I.4 The 'transmit' group

    These verbs are concerned with sending something such as a message to someone or to a place, for example through the post or by email.
    You send in a short video clip saying how you would improve your local environment and the best clips will be edited and aired to the nation on the BBC.
    Some of Philip K Dick's later novels were based on messages that were being beamed to him from outer space.
    He handed over his report to his secretary, who emailed it to Martin.
    Controllers barked orders by telephone which were relayed to pilots by radio.
    From gaming to movies, music and TV shows, everything can be streamed to the TV with the right box.
    Life on board the boats has been transmitted to the world's television screens, with scenes of icebergs at dawn, of small yachts ploughing through massive seas.
    Over 6,000 new tagged videos are uploaded to YouTube each day.
  • air (usu passive)
  • beam (usu passive)
  • broadcast
  • cable
  • BROKEN!
  • email
  • fax
  • forward
  • live-stream
  • mail
  • post
  • relay
  • return
  • send
  • stream (usu passive)
  • telegraph
  • televise usu passive
  • telex
  • text
  • transmit
  • upload
  • webcast
  • wire
  • I.5 The 'show' group

    These verbs are concerned with showing something to someone.
    She displayed the new baby to a group of admiring friends.
    He promised me I'd love this part of the country, wanted to show it to me.
    She is apparently very proud of her achievements in nest building and proudly shows off her skills to anyone who is around at the time.
  • demonstrate
  • display
  • show
  • I.6 The 'sell' group

    These verbs are concerned with selling, auctioning or renting something to someone.
    There was an increase in the number of countries exporting textiles and apparel to the US.
    Originally the land was leased either to the aristocracy, the governing monarch or the monasteries who then sub-leased it to the people.
    If prices dropped today, would you sell your house to me?
  • auction (usu passive)
  • export
  • lease
  • let
  • rent
  • sell
  • sub-lease
  • sublet
  • sell on
  • I.7 The 'link' group

    These verbs are concerned with linking two or more things or people, or making a connection between them.
    The Cuban musicians themselves often liken their musical movement to the works of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.
    The President appeared to link a solution of the Gulf crisis to talks on other Middle East disputes.
    America's future as a superpower is tied to social justice at home, to a healthy economy and good trading relations with other nations.
    The preposition to is sometimes followed by an '-ing' clause. Also, in the case of compare and liken, the verb is sometimes followed by an '-ing' clause instead of a noun group.
    I like to compare undergoing bypass surgery to paying taxes. The longer it is comfortably and safely put off, the better.
  • anchor (usu passive)
  • compare
  • connect
  • correlate (usu passive)
  • index (usu passive)
  • liken
  • link
  • match
  • relate
  • tie (usu passive)
  • match up
  • I.8 The 'impart' group

    These verbs are concerned with bringing a particular quality to a thing, event or situation.
    Their political differences only added spice to their relationship.
    Butter imparts a full, rich taste to a cake.
    Earle was improving in health, and this fact alone lent a brighter hue to life and its duties.
  • add
  • bring
  • impart
  • lend
  • I.9 The 'attribute' group

    These verbs are concerned with ascribing or attributing a particular thing, feature, or quality to someone or something.
    Society is now assigning no positive value to suffering and is becoming more oriented toward a culture of comfort.
    The gulf separating him from other children could not be attributed to class differences alone.
    The fact that witch-hunting flourished in very different religious cultures should make us wary of imputing great significance to any one set of beliefs.
    The preposition to is sometimes followed by an '-ing' clause.
    Kelly attributes her coping ability to growing up in a big family.
    The preposition to is sometimes followed by a noun group and an '-ing' clause. This pattern is V n to n -ing.
    Some officials attribute this to people not knowing where to go.
  • ascribe
  • assign
  • attach
  • attribute
  • credit
  • impute
  • put down
  • I.10 Verbs with other meanings

    There are a few other verbs which have this structure.
    The Puritans hated bear-baiting not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.
    Conventional, fixed-rate loans present major risks to lenders.
    In the case of lend, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl to n.
    This 19th century building does not lend itself to modern applications and requirements.
    In the case of owe, the noun group following the verb is often an amount. This pattern is V amount to n.
    Their mother worked two jobs, 14 hours a day, to pay for her children's education. 'We owe a lot to our mother,' Julie said.
  • give
  • lend
  • owe
  • pledge
  • present
  • Structure information: Verb with Object and prepositional Object

    The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object. This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed to n. The prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object. Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group,it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
    The State has arrogated to itself the power and will to reform the moral character of the delinquent and even of the criminal.
    I am eager to demonstrate to you the extent of our far-flung scientific endeavor.
    Phrasal verb patterns are the same except that there is also a particle, P. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
    He passed it on to the police
    or
    He passed on the information to the police
    but you do not say He passed on it to the police.

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